4 Jan 2018

Tennis centre roof put on hold right when it's needed

1:07 pm on 4 January 2018

Plans for a state of the art retractable roof at the home of the ASB Classic in Auckland have been put on hold.

Rain has delayed play at the ASB Tennis Classic.

Rain has delayed play at the ASB Tennis Classic. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The timing couldn't be worse for organisers with rain already disrupting this year's women's tournament with more wet weather expected later in the week.

The upgrade of the Stanley Street venue was meant to start as soon as the players left the court following next week's men's final.

Originally, two stands were to be torn down and rebuilt in time for next year's tournaments, taking the capacity to around three and a half thousand.

A roof would then be added for the following year but now there's no set date on when any of this will happen according to tournament director Karl Budge.

"There's a lot of movement in the tour structure at the moment, we need to know that looks like. The last thing we want to do is go into what's probably our biggest strategic project at the moment, only to find out 'hang on we actually needed it to look like this.'

"It's a matter of doing a bit more homework and making sure we're a 100 per cent committed to the project. It will happen," Budge said.

ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge.

ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge. Photo: Photosport

That news hasn't gone down well with fans who say the tournament needs a roof sooner rather than later.

"When we are talking about a competition like this, they want to retain it, keep the best players coming back, be able to make the competition run day and night uninterrupted, there needs to be a roof," one person said.

Another fan had an idea on how they could fund the multi-million dollar project.

"They need to tag some of our big business companies and philanthropists for sponsorship, that's how we'll get the roof sooner."

Both fans and Karl Budge agree that this week's weather has been a timely reminder of the need for a roof and wouldn't you know it, today's forecast in Auckland - rain and lots of it.